Fiber which is usually found in plant foods is an essential type of carbohydrate in your body. Several clinical studies by nutritionists have confirmed that fiber has several health benefits to the body. These includes:
Benefits of fiber
- Fiber is important in eliminating toxins from your body
- Foods rich in fiber take long to digest. This helps you avoid eating regularly and thus increasing your satiety as well as helping you to lose weight.
- Fiber holds water thus bulking the stool. This is valuable in treating constipation as well as diarrhea.
- Fiber energizes the probiotics (good bacteria) that are found in the lower bowel. These bacteria produce essential compounds which can lower cholesterol and improve your immunity as well as prevent diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer among other types of cancer.
- Fiber is also important for a healthy heart and in maintaining blood sugar levels within the required range.
Nutritionists recommend 25 – 38 grams of fiber per day. However, many people think that these amounts are too high to achieve. If you are one of them, here are four simple tips for you to reach the figure.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eat more fruits and vegetables instead of drinking their juice. This is because most beneficial fiber is lost during the processing of the juice. And, unlike wholly eaten fruits and vegetables, fruit juice contain more sugar and less fiber.
Instead of salad, eat more vegetables
In as much as salad vegetables like radicchio, lettuce and rocket contain vitamin C, K, iron and beta carotene; they contain less fiber. You should, therefore, aim at eating more fiber-rich vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas, beans and Brussel sprouts.
Replace processed foods with organic ones
Try as much as possible to lessen your intake of processed foods, and instead, eat more organic foods. For example, eat wholemeal brown bread and rice instead of white bread and rice or even multigrain. Research indicates that whole grains have double the amount of fiber in processed foods. Similarly, you should not peel fruits such as apples, grapes, and pears. At times, you should even eat fruit and vegetable seeds such as those of watermelons and pumpkins.
Drink more water
Water is important in your body. As you increase your fiber intake, remember to increase water intake too. This is because fiber draws water into the intestines and without adequate water, fiber will aggravate instead of alleviating constipation. So, as you have always heard before, drink more and more water; 8 to 12 glasses is very healthy.